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Encrypt Files on Your Mac

Lots of users save confidential information on their Macs. Private data needs to be protected and secured to prevent unwanted access and identity theft. Fortunately, Mac users have lot of possible  encryption options nowadays (built in Mac OS tools and 3rd party encryption apps as well). 

 

Built Mac OS Disk Utility tool allows to protect your private files and create encrypted folder disk image. If user does not want to ecrypt the entire disk and enable filevault protection he/she may encrypt certain folder on the hard drive.


1. Open Disk Utility tool. In order to do this just click on Finder icon and select Go menu at the top. Choose Utilities from the drop down menu. In utilities folder look for Disk Utility icon  (you can also press command + shift+ U and open Disk Utility in utilities folder).


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2.  Once you’ll open Disk Utility click on “File” menu at the top. Choose “New ” and select “Image from folder”

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3. Select the folder you want to encrypt(in my case it is thunderzzz secret folder ) or create the new folder and add data containing confidential info there. Click on “Image”.

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4.  Type the name for encrypted disk image(in my case I call it “Encrypted disk image”) and select 128 or 256-bit encryption option. Click on “Save”.

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5. Set up the password for encrypted image. Note: Save this password somewhere or write it down. In case you forget it you loose the access to all encrypted files inside the folder. This is probably the only drawback of this encryption option.

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Next time you open this image double click on it. You’ll be prompted to type the password. Your files inside this disk image are protected.


There is also vast choice of third party encryption tools on the market. I have tested  some of them on random basis.



Encryption Buddy

This tiny app allows user to protect and encrypt any type of files. Drag and drop the files you want to encrypt or protect with password to the application window. Create a password and click “Encrypt My Files”. It takes some time. In order to decrypt this file you should do almost the same. Easy as a pie. This app is available on the AppStore. You may find more info on developer’s website: http://gotoes.org/sales/Encryption_Buddy/index.php


MacFort

Encrypts and protects with password files, folders, applications and their associated files. It uses AES 128 or 256 bit encryption standard (you may use the same via Disk Utility ) There is no way to see encrypted files without MacFort app. If Mac is lost o stolen your private files remain protected. More info here:

http://www.madowsoft.com/macfort_features


MacKeeper

Despite the controversial reputation of this application on this forum, I have decided to test their built-in encryptor option and it worked pretty well for me. “Data Encryptor”  makes encrypted files invisible. It enables two level security mechanism. Internal password to Data Encryptor itself and the password to the encrypted item. More info here: http://manual.mackeeper.com/features/data-encryptor/


CryptMe

The simplest text editor/viewer. Open the text editor. Paste or type sensitive info there. Click on the lock and the data is encrypted. Application uses the same 256 bit AES encryption standard. Application is compaible with Mac OS and iOS as well. Available on the App Store. More info here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cryptme/id445265455?mt=12


Encrypto

Cross platform application for Windows and Mac computers. Allows to share encrypted files with friends  and send them via e-mail. You can also encrypt the file and and set up the hint. Hint is useful in case you forget the password.  More info here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/encrypto-encrypt-files-you/id935235287?mt=12


It is up to you to decide whether use 3rd party encryption apps or perfect Disk Utility. In my opinion, Disk Utility is all you need. 3rd party apps are good for novice users, however they use the same AES 256-bit standard available via Disk Utility. You should set up the strong and easy to remember password. Good option is to write down password hints somewhere. Remember: In case you forget the password, you no longer have the access to the items inside the encrypted folder.





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